Fall from grace: When our idols crash, it can be a hard landing

Dec 9 2013 - 10:59am


Illustration by KATHRYN TALBOT/Northridge High School/kitlbt@live.com
Illustration by KATHRYN TALBOT/Northridge High School/kitlbt@live.com

Many dream of fame and fortune, from imagining your picture on the front cover of a magazine, acting in a blockbuster, or being a singer with millions hearing your music.

But is the fame worth it? Being constantly chased around by the paparazzi and having your personal life completely exposed causes enough stress to make anyone crack. And when celebrities crack, it's usually bad.

Today we take a look at a few celebrities whose fame has got the best of them. Do we feel bad for these celebrities? Often, yes, their lives are being ruined in part by the limelight. Being famous is a lot like winning the lottery -- it sounds great at first, but in not too much time, everything goes wrong.

Miley Cyrus

In 2006, a Disney Channel TV show called "Hannah Montana" started with a new actor named Miley Cyrus, daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, turning her into an example for young girls all over the nation.

Miley's potential was quickly realized, as she went on into acting in both television and film, singing, songwriting and more. In 2008, she was included in Time's 100 Most Influential People. Each person had a write-up about them and Donny Osmond wrote of the young star, "As an idol to tweens the world over, singer-actress Miley Cyrus, 15, is riding a huge tidal wave at the pinnacle of her career; this is as it should be. I hope she enjoys it. (...) Within three to five years, Miley will have to face adulthood. (...) As she does, she'll want to change her image, and that change will be met with adversity."

Adversity definitely came with that change. The release of Miley's song and music video "We Can't Stop" in 2013 set a new image for her. She specifically took the film role in "The Last Song" in 2010 to start on her journey of breaking out of her child-friendly roles and moving into an audience for adults.

Now Miley has been reduced to dancing inappropriately on national music awards shows, and releasing music videos with her scandalously dressed. Hopefully she can get her act together and use her talents to be a better example to the audience she once reached.

-- Nathan Beeston, Syracuse

Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes, 27, got her start in a Nestle commercial at the age of 7 and quickly catapulted into TV shows and movies. Bynes played many roles in "The Amanda Show," a comedic sketch series starring almost entirely herself. Years later she appeared in "Big Fat Liar" with Frankie Muniz and gained fame and more popular parts.

Some of Bynes' most well-known movies have been "What a Girl Wants" with Colin Firth, "She's the Man" alongside Channing Tatum, "Hairspray" and "Sydney White." By that time, though, Bynes was 23 and ready to move past the usual, cutesy characters she'd played for years. Her famous transitional movie was "Easy A," a modern rendition of "The Scarlet Letter," which starred Emma Stone.

Bynes announced a break from acting in 2012 via Twitter. However, she didn't let her fans know she'd be taking a break from sanity. Her downward spiral started with her driving under the influence and rear-ending a police vehicle. Her father came to her defense in this case.

She later faced other DUI charges and began digging herself a deeper, darker, messier hole. The more often and stranger her offenses became, the more Amanda's parents and friends became concerned for her mental health and safety. Her parents have encouraged/forced her to go under psychiatric evaluation multiple times.

With a scraggly wig and pierced cheeks, Bynes no longer even resembles the funny beauty she once was. Nor do her rude, childish Twitter insults and questionable antics reflect the role model she used to be for girls in multiple nations. Bye, bye sweet Amanda Bynes.

-- Erin Geiger, Weber High

Britney Spears

Britney Spears got her start in stardom by performing in stage productions and television shows when she was a kid. In 1997, she signed with Jive Records and began singing for a career.

Two of Spears' very first songs, "Baby One More Time" and "Oops! I Did it Again," became international sensations and everyone adored her. She received awards such as Best Selling Teenaged Artist of All Time before she was 20, and was named the "Princess of Pop." She went on several tours debuting her albums and each one was extremely successful.

In January 2007, Spears' aunt, who she had been very close to, died. It was after this that the problems started. Britney went into drug rehab and was there on and off for the next few months. She lost custody of her kids and people started worrying about her based on the content of her new songs and albums, and how she was acting in concerts.

The moment I even became aware that Britney Spears existed was when I saw a picture of her shaving her head in a magazine, which she did in February of 2007. I just could not wrap my mind around why she would want to do such a thing. After all, I was a 10-year-old who adored my hair, and couldn't imagine just shaving it all off one day. All I could think about was whether or not she was cold, and if she was worried about looking like a boy.

Today, after two marriages in three years and lots of rehab, Britney seems to be a bit more stable. She was a judge on "The X-Factor" in 2012 and is still releasing albums, her most recent being "Britney: Piece of Me." She is seen as a pop icon and her music is still being sold by the millions.

Spears is also said to be the influence for singers such as Demi Lovato and Katy Perry. So, even though there was an era of struggles, this singer was able to pull through and gain back her reputation.

-- Olivia Andrus, Ogden High

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber was once a teenage heartthrob for many girls. He received his first Milestone Music Award on May 19, 2013. Lately, some questions have been raised to question whether Bieber is an idol or a huge jerk. Some may say Bieber is having a "downfall."

On March 2, 2011, Bieber was caught flipping off a paparazzi camera. The video hit YouTube and stunned many. Bieber later apologized for his actions but the rumor is that he did it due to the cameraman giving Bieber's girlfriend at the time, Selena Gomez, a swollen lip. Whether or not this is true, no one may know. The situation is hard to judge.

Later that year, a car was speeding down California's Ventura Freeway at 100 miles per hour. Bieber was driving and received a ticket. He somehow worked his way out of paying for it. The last time he was pulled over before that was a few months earlier for, again, speeding.

In 2012, the "cut for Bieber" trend hit the Internet. Rumors said girls were cutting themselves because Bieber was almost caught for possession of illegal drugs in Sweden, and these girls wouldn't stop cutting until he stopped smoking. Of course, the cutting wasn't Bieber's fault at all, but it raises the question if any teens should look up to him as much as they do if he really was smoking or partaking of illegal substances.

All of these may just be rumors though. This isn't necessarily Bieber's "downfall" because he is still making money and still successful. Although, he may not be doing that for long if he keeps showing up to concerts at the time they were supposed to end. Bieber's English/British tour concert-goers demanded refunds for him showing up so late, unexpectedly. Comparing this behavior to artists like Axl Rose, it could work out for the Biebs but a lot of people will see him negatively.

The latest Bieber pictures on Twitter include him being carried up the Great Wall of China by his bodyguards and him skateboarding and having bodyguards keep up with him. A lot of people could view this in a bad way, but no one knows the whole story. Justin Bieber could have possibly paid people to carry him or something else could have happened. Maybe not. All celebrities have people looking out for good and bad in what they do.

-- Cara Darr, Weber High


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